Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine
A NEW C H A PT E R
CAPTIVATING MODERN LUXURY 1269 Coast Village Road Montecito CA 93108
MonteCito garden estate
the architecture is just the beginning... 5 Bedrooms / 7 Bathrooms / 1.04 acres / $7,900,000
The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are independent contractor agents and are not employees of the Company. ÂŠ2017 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker, the Coldwell Banker Logo, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury logo service marks are registered or pending registrations owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. CalRE#01961570 CalRE#01465426
TRANQUILITY BY THE SEA Located in the popular West Beach neighborhood of Santa Barbara, The Eagle Inn is a comfortable boutique bed and breakfast by the water.
232 NAT OMA AV E, S A N TA BA R BA R A , CA 9 3 1 0 1 R E SER VAT I ONS: 805- 9 6 5 -3 5 8 6 O R T HE E A G L E IN N . CO M
Now Selling Brand New Homes in the Foothills of Santa Barbara County
NOW SELLING WITH MODELS OPEN
Contemporary Triplex Homes From the low $800,000s Up to 1,943 Sq Ft 3 Bedrooms Mela@CalAtl.com
Courtyard-Style Homes From the low $900,000s Up to 2,143 Sq Ft 3 Bedrooms Pera@CalAtl.com
Single-Family Luxury Homes From the mid $1 Millions Up to 3,239 Sq Ft 4 Bedrooms Limone@CalAtl.com
Single-Family Luxury Homes From the high $1 Millions Up to 3,906 Sq Ft 6 Bedrooms Amarena@CalAtl.com
4 New Home Neighborhoods | From the low $800,000s to high $1 Millions | Community Pool and Clubhouse Visit our sales center today at 5489 Tree Farm Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93111 | 805.220.0926
No view is promised. Views may also be altered by subsequent development, construction and landscaping growth. Square footage/acreage shown is only an estimate and actual square footage/acreage will differ. Buyer should rely on his or her own evaluation of useable area. Plans to build out this neighborhood as proposed are subject to change without notice. The estimated completion date of the community clubhouse and pool is summer 2017. The date of actual completion could substantially differ from the estimated date. Prices, plans and terms are effective on the date of publication and subject to change without notice. Depictions of homes or other features are artist conceptions. Hardscape, landscape and other items shown may be decorator suggestions that are not included in the purchase price and availability may vary. CalAtlantic Group, Inc. California Real Estate License No. 01138346. 1.1 CASCA051
This Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast Inn has been owned and operated by the Dunstan family for over 30 years, and no expense has been spared to ensure the best experience hospitality can provide.
Four blocks from the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, the Cheshire Cat Inn offers travelers an opportunity to enjoy beautifully appointed accommodations in the two Victorian Queen Ann houses and Craftsman cottages. Enjoy the wonderful homemade breakfast and our renowned afternoon wine hour with local wine and hors dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oeuvres in our beautiful and lush English gardens.
36 W. Valerio Street Santa Barbara, CA (805) 569-1610 www.cheshirecat.com
Santa Barbara Life & St yle Magazine
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 Volume 6 / Issue 1 Editor in Chief & Publisher Ottocina Ryan Creative Director Silas Fallstich Lead Photographer Meadow Rose Art Director Helene Laine Social Media Manager Serene Mansour Production Assistant Emily Tull Executive Assistant Amy Dong Contributing Photographer Jacqueline Pilar Contributing Writers Robin Berger, Christina Burch, Savannah Daniels, Heather Roach, Alexandra Sharova, Alessa Valenzuela, Madeline Williams Stylist Rachel Teixeira
ON THIS COVER
Photographed by Silas Fallstich Model Stav Ben Zur with L.A. Models Hair & Makeup by Leah Rose Washuta Location Loon Point Beach Top & Leggings Varley
Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine is published by Santa Barbara Life & Style, Inc. 26 West Mission Street #5, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 For distribution, advertising and other inquiries: email@example.com www.santabarbaralifeandstyle.com
Organic Ingredients • California Grown • No Artificial Anything • Gluten Free • GMO Free • Vegan
SB LIFE & STYLE from the editor
t’s 7 p.m. and I’m still at my office as per usual, and seeing as we are quickly approaching our press deadline I’m going to give you something that’s already written. Something that will allow you to get to know behind the scenes of the magazine a little better. I have a mini composition book at the office where I keep a log of things I’ve said at work that I shouldn’t say at work. Here are a couple excerpts, with context of course. A personal one to start, I’m a believer in form over function, so I don’t use regular toothbrushes from CVS, I use the all clear or all white ones you get in hotels when you forgot your toothbrush. Why? Because they match my bathroom decor and a neon pink or green one would absolutely not. As unconventional as this may sound I’ve never had a cavity in my life. Our office receives a lot of things in the mail, mostly very nice things which we appreciate, but also some random ones. One day Serene, who runs our social media, and I were talking about microwaving pasta (to clarify, we were taking about it, we do not do this) and the next day we got a surprise red package in the mail with, I kid you not, a jar of microwaveable pasta. And a microwave safe bowl. Of course I was convinced that I had manifested this delivery. It was just too random. My intern was nice to emphasize that I thought I had manifested a package of glorified SpaghettiOs from a publicist. And with that I welcome you to a new chapter of Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine. In 2018 we will have an more candid, personal and interesting approach, while sustaining the current creative, refined and eloquent standards we have become known for. I hope you enjoy this issue full of ways to enhance your quality of life and reinvest in yourself in the New Year and I encourage you to think about what you want 2018 to look like for you (may it be more microwaved pasta or achieving a fitness goal) and make it happen. Happy New Year!
Editor in Chief Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine
12 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
B E L M O N D E L E N C A N TO, SA N TA B A R B A RA
A HAVEN OF PEACE AND TRANQUILITY IN SANTA BARBARA
The Spa at Belmond El Encanto is the most idyllic day spa offering an array of treatments featuring local ingredients that relax the mind and rejuvenate the body. Local residents enjoy a special 20% off select spa treatments and salon services every Monday through Thursday. To book your next appointment, please call 805 770 3545.
800 ALVARADO PLACE, SANTA BARBARA, CA 93103 | BELMOND.COM
EE SB Life & Style halfpage spa ad 1217.indd 1
715 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara
12/8/17 10:53 AM
TAYLORPAIGEAESTHETICS.COM | 116 E YANONALI STREET, SUITE D1 (2ND FLOOR), SANTA BARBARA | 805-883-8573
contents JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
18 / TR ADITION AND TACOS
Authentic Mexican food gets a modern twist at the newest Rudy’s location.
20 / REVOLUTIONARY BY NATURE
Get a taste of Ojai’s locally foraged craft beer and delicious food.
26 / PL ANT BASED BLISS
Delight your tastebuds in an ethereal atmosphere at this new vegan restaurant.
32 / LOVE IS IN THE HAIR
Treat yourself to a new look and a glass of Champagne at this elegant boutique salon.
34 / RESTORE YOUR BODY
Masks, serums, scrubs, and more to help rejuvenate after the holidays.
36 / METALLIC MOMENTS Dripping in gold…and silver and copper.
41 / READY, SET, GLOW
The quickest way to detoxed skin is right here in the Funk Zone.
40 / NEW YEAR, NEW YOU
Tips to help you hit reset for your life, home and daily routine.
42 / INDIGO THER APY
Take a deep breath and relax in this dreamy Moroccan sanctuary.
46 / INTUITION
A new age clairvoyant shares the source of spiritual healing.
valentine’s day 48 / OOH L A L A
The best lingerie, candles and chocolates to sweeten up your Valentine’s Day.
54 / JUMPSTART
Pretty activewear and cool kicks, taken to new heights.
62 / BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
Winter is here and we’re ready to take on the cold with furry layers and oversized attire.
72 / A NOT SO QUAINT ESCAPE
An easy cure for wanderlust—escape to Palm Springs for the weekend.
76 / WAIKIKI
From The Ritz-Carlton’s luxurious amenities to lush rainforests, Hawaii has everything you need to relax and reconnect.
78 / WELCOME TO PAR AÍSO
Paradise is not so far away, enjoy the calmer side of Cabo.
82 / WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Denali National Park guarantees the adventure of a lifetime, from glacier landings to bear sightings.
90 / 48 HOURS
An itinerary for two healthy days in Santa Barbara to kick off the New Year.
82 @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 15
Enjoy SANTA BARBARA LIFE&STYLE delivered to your mailbox M ag az
S BL S Sa nt a
Ja n/ Fe
e & St yl a Li fe
Ba rb ar
a Li fe & St yl e
M ag az
17 ec 20
Ba rb ar Sa nt a
b 20 18
S BL S No v/D
SUBSCRIBE at sblifeandstyle.com
YO U R
S PI RI TS
G B E B RI
A N EW
C H A PT
FOLLOW US on Instagram @sblifeandstyle
COVET & CRAVE Staff Picks for
1. Alba1913 Face Discovery Kit, alba1913.com 2. Saint Rita Parlor Bardon-Keil Sunglasses, House Of Honey 3. Wine RayZyn Snack Packs, rayzyn.com 4. Lumu Power Light Meter, lu.mu 5. Conscious Coconut Coconut Oil, consciouscoconut.com 6. Tiffany & Co. CT60 Bicolor Watch in Stainless Steel & Rose Gold, Tiffany & Co. 7. WTRMLN WTR Lemon Ginger Blend, Whole Foods Market 8. Bony Levy Diamond Ring, Nordstrom 9. Kusmi BB Detox Tea, kusmitea.com
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 17
18 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
SB LIFE & STYLE dining
TACOS Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Savannah Daniels On the corner of Canon Perdido and Santa Barbara Street is where classic Mexican meets a modern twist. All of the Rudy’s favorites are now in a brand new location in the up and coming Presidio Neighborhood. I walk into the restaurant’s early morning open doors and am instantly met by a warm and savory aroma of spices. I take in the perfect combination of Mexican and Santa Barbara décor: chic silver lanterns lighting up the room, stylish benches with Mexican textile cushions, vintage tiles adorning the bar, sleek wood flooring, tables embellished with deep blue vases and yellow sunflowers, and the latest Latin hits playing softly in the background. The owner Andrea greets me at the counter, which is well stocked with fruity Jarritos, fresh Jamaica, beer, wine, and my personal favorite, creamy horchata. I sip the sweet and cinnamony beverage as I make my way to my seat. Rudy’s has been a mainstay on the central coast since 1976 when Andrea’s father, who the restaurant is named after, opened the first location on Montecito Street in Santa Barbara. “He went from busing tables, to manager, to opening up his own place,” she says, “A real life American dream.” Rudy, now in his seventies, still circulates around the restaurants to ensure that everything is running smoothly. “He’s not slowing down anytime soon,” Andrea smiles. The restaurant started with Rudy, his wife Alma, and mother Evengelina, and has expanded and been passed down to their children, who continue their legacy. This is the sixth and newest
Rudy’s location, which had its grand opening just a few months ago. “We’re so happy to be back downtown,” Andrea says, “A lot of our staff, customers and cooks recognize each other from our previous downtown location in Paseo Nuevo.” The cooks use fresh ingredients to prepare family recipes like taquitos, enchiladas (including breakfast enchiladas), nachos, fajitas, quesadillas, and Rudy’s famous crunchy tacos. The menu also includes more traditional plates like mole, chile rellenos, chimichangas, sopes, and tortas. “We also cater a lot of businesses,” Andrea says. “They come in and order a bunch of burritos to take back to the office for parties and meetings.” My mouth waters as I scan the menu of burrito combinations…chorizo eggs, potatoes, and cheese; eggs, onions, tomatoes, rice, and beans; eggs bacon, potatoes, and cheese. The list goes on, each sounding as delicious as the one before it. Yet what I’m really craving is something classic. For breakfast I order the huevos rancheros: two eggs over medium served on crunchy tortillas with refried beans and diced grilled potatoes. With just the first bite, I can taste the forty plus years of recipe perfecting.
Rudy’s Mexican Restaurant 138 E Canon Perdido Street Santa Barbara rudys-mexican.com 805-845-5446
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 19
Revolutionary by nature Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Robin Berger
20 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 21
t’s Friday and the crisp air infiltrates Ojai Valley Brewery, located inside sister restaurant Azu. I’m seated at the stately wood bar, sipping on the White Pixie as owner Jeremy Haffner places mason jars in front of me that contain all the natural ingredients of Ojai; dates and tangerines segue to white and black sage and in place of hops, chaparral. All of which play a part in the brewery’s handcrafted beers. With an emphasis on sustainability and incorporating indigenous plants, Jeremy sources and forages for the ingredients himself from his backyard and beyond in the Ojai Valley. Jeremy’s dog Edna settles just below my feet, “I bring her everywhere, she’s living the life,” he says. Stemming from their love of Ojai and craft beer, Ojai Valley Brewery’s mission is to give beer lovers something different, and uniquely local. Creating an alternative standard, the brewery focuses on styles largely neglected by craft beer, with a special focus on dry, malt forward lagers, and light bodied local floral ales. Each beer incorporates herbs, flowers, fruits, and spices, creating a fusion of flavors from the mountains and blooming orchards. Using chaparral herbs in place of hops for bitter flavors, the brewery honors the community while
22 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 23
creating their own unique movement. Their ultimate goal is to make Chaparral Beer a nationally recognized style. Local, sustainable and born exclusively of our native surroundings. I savor my last sip of the local favorite, the oats, pixie zest and orchard blossoms all culminating in a light, refreshing flavor. I move on to the Chaparral, a light ale with hints of sage, it is bready and earthy with a light malt finish. My food arrives and without hesitation I take my first bite of the Native Burger. Caramelized onions, Russian dressing and mouthwatering grass fed beef drizzle onto my plate. This is my element. “Who’s the chef?!” I ask. Jeremy smiles, pouring the next flight of beers, “My mother-in-law.” Laurel Moore started Azu 17 24 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
years ago and the restaurant is managed by her daughter Elizabeth. Their American Mediterranean cuisine is comprised of locally sourced ingredients and the restaurant has the same sustainability practices as the Brewery. Next I go for the stuffed dates—a faint sweetness is perfectly balanced by the bacon and chorizo. Sipping on the J.F.B. the tastes of the light American lager lingering in my mouth, I dip into the lamb pita, with its familiar flavors of tahini, sumac and braised lamb. Noting the light bitterness and malt body of the lager, the only indication that I ate anything lies in the form of crumbs and a very satisfied, full stomach. Winding down, I polish off the last beer from the tasting, the Sugar Bush, their take on an IPA. The sugar bush, which grows wild on
the hills of Ojai, makes this rare and intricate beer unlike your mainstream IPA, with super high floral notes yet exceptionally low bitterness. As I wrap up the enjoyable afternoon I study each detail of the quaint space, finding minute details of the well preserved over 100-year-old building and eying the lush greenery and brick on their back patio. An ex-musician, Jeremy opted for a simple life with his wife and their 8-year-old daughter in the hills of Ojai. I ask Jeremy what he is most passionate about and without skipping a beat he says “Leisure.” If you can sustain a career that pays for you to have a leisurely lifestyle with the ones you love, to Jeremy, you’ve found it all. And craft a few beers along the way is a nice bonus.
Ojai Valley Brewery 457 Ojai Ave, Ojai ojaivalleybrewery.com 805-640-7987
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 25
Hearts Of Palm Ceviche 26 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
BLISS Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Savannah Daniels
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 27
hrough a single wooden gate on a Sunday evening, I leave the world of hustle and bustle and enter a world filled with nothing short of enchantment and delight; a world where beautiful lanterns hang in trees resembling a thousand fireflies, soft music dances with your mind as you to forget about time and fully relish the moment, and the food is just as delicious as it is nourishing. Oliver’s Montecito vegan restaurant is an escape I didn’t have to travel far to get to.
Johnny’s 5 Alive
The host welcomes me and leads me across a heated patio under the trees and the stars, then inside past a sleek lounge area, communal table and even a cozy sofa and coffee table. Once seated at a candlelit table, I settle in and take in the scenery, beautifully created by SFA Design: the dim lanterns are both romantic and relaxing, the slightly opened window with its view of the patio gives me the sense of being in a quaint and elegant tree house, and the music gently holds all three rooms together. The atmosphere is overall very warm. The kind waitress arrives shortly after and explains the drink menu, which features cocktails made of organic liquors,
28 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Artichoke “Crab Cakes” @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 29
Juice Ranch juices, spices, and honey. I go with the Endless Farmer: a blend of vodka and fresh watermelon and lemon juices, with a hint of mint and chia seeds. The pink concoction is both revitalizing and tasty. Scanning the appetizer menu, small plates of herb roasted sweet potatoes, turmeric avocado toast, radish and lime leaf ceviche, and cranberry goat cheese salad catch my eye. Two young ladies at the table next to mine, who happen to be Oliver’s regulars, recommend the flatbread. And by the looks of the ‘cheese’ oozing on their plates, I have to try. A few minutes later, a ‘Gorgonzola’ flatbread topped with creamy pesto sauce, caramelized onions, ripe pears, mixed greens, and drizzled with vinaigrette arrives to my table. My taste buds are NOT disappointed. It is so exquisite that I contemplate ordering another flatbread for my main course...until I’m allured by the equally delicious sounding entree options. Apollo
I juggle between Millet Polenta with cherry tomato ragout, arugula and caper berries, and the Pad Thai with market veggies and pistachios. I finally decide on the Lotus Bowl, which is a heaping bowl of forbidden black rice, coconut curry chickpeas, and squash, topped with marinated Napa cabbage and dill tahini sauce. The savory tahini accompanied by the tangy curry make an excellent pair and I savor each bite like it’s my last. When I finally do take the last bite, my stomach is happy and full, yet there is always room for dessert. Tonight on the menu is a moist chocolate brownie and, my choice, an apple crumble. The dessert comes in a bowl of sweet granola over warm cinnamon apples and a scoop of whipped coconut cashew sorbet. It is so heavenly that I feel me and the dessert are the only two in the room. It’s the perfect conclusion to a wonderful meal and leaves me ready to resume back into the real world, both nourished and eager to return.
Little Miss Sunshine
30 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Oliver’s 1198 Coast Village Road, Montecito oliversofmontecito.com 805-969-0834
Chopped Salad @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 31
SB LIFE & STYLE beauty
Studio B is coming up on its first anniversary and will be holding a party in February to celebrate. 32 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Written by Madeline Williams
LOVE IS IN THE HAIR
When I walked into the charming Studio B Salon and Style Bar cottage on West Mission Street, I was greeted instantly and had a glass of Champagne in my hand within a minute. The salon has only been open a year yet from the moment I walked through the door, I felt the welcoming atmosphere that salon owner Brianna creates. To get to know the beauty and brains behind Studio B, I sat down with Brianna on the chicly decorated front porch and she began to explain to me how after being a hairstylist for ten years she had a vision for the salon. “I’ve been in the service industry my whole life. I know how to please people, I guess you could say. It’s something that makes me happy, and you know, everyone leaves with a smile on their face,” she said. “I feel like I am definitely more right brained and embody its artistic aspect, but now I feel like I’m both in a sense because I’ve learned how to run a business from scratch.” The combination between her artistic talent with hair and makeup and her growing business mindset creates a comfortable atmosphere in the salon for her clients. After seeing much of Brianna’s work on Instagram (@brianna.hair. makeup), I was eager to hear about her beauty tips. “I feel like there are no secrets anymore,” Brianna said. I nodded in agreement—with all of the beauty gurus on YouTube and Instagram, nothing is left a mystery. However, she continued to teach me a technique for getting rid of flyaway hairs that I had never heard of before. By using a men’s shaving brush, Brianna explained, you can smooth out stray hairs better than any other beauty tool, leaving any hairstyle looking flawless. “You spray it with hairspray and then you lightly put it on the hair with the comb and it’s dense enough where it won’t pick up any of the hair but it’s soft enough where it’ll get in there and lay everything down.” This unique trick is a staple when it comes to her wedding styles.
Not only does Brianna own Studio B, she has also done wedding hair and makeup for over eight years. “I am part of the most special event in a woman’s life,” she explained to me, noting that she loves contributing to the “fun part” of the wedding by providing the bride with the perfect hair and makeup look. However, this memorable day is not only for the woman. Brianna saw a need for attention to the men’s side of the pre-wedding preparations. “I just launched The Groom Concierge which is basically what I do on the girls’ side but on the guys’ side,” she said. This brilliant idea consists of anything from straight shaves to concealer and anything in between. Curious to see what other tricks she had up her sleeve, I asked Brianna if she had a skincare routine that she recommends. “Any sort of skincare, I believe, starts with how you prep your skin. Washing it with a good cleanser, toner and moisturizer. If you don’t do those three things before makeup, your makeup won’t have anything to settle on,” she said. Next, I asked Brianna for her go-to date look. “Big flowy hair, a nice big blowout and anything to enhance what you’ve got going on,” she said. By complementing certain features that you have already, you can achieve a simple, classic look. “Whether it’s a little lip gloss or mascara, I keep it minimalistic and very natural. That’s kind of my vibe.” As we wrapped up the interview, Brianna offered to style my hair. I gratefully accepted and we went back inside the salon. Before I knew it, I had a beautiful braided crown and walked out another happy client with a smile on my face.
Studio B Salon & Style Bar 108 W Mission Street, Santa Barbara studiobbeauty.com 805-626-0370 @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 33
RESTORE YOUR BODY
Photographed by Jacqueline Pilar Written by Heather Roach
with these gorgeous beauty picks from our beauty expert Heather Roach
REBELS AND OUTLAWS SACRED CEREMONY CANDLES are no ordinary candles and I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been this excited to share something in a long time. These extraordinary unguided meditation candles are not only stunning, but poured under the magic of the moon and made with natural soy wax, stones, flowers, and herbs. Bonus, they are made by two of the coolest guys you will ever meet. rebelsandoutlawsnyc.com $16-$26
E LIF E F R N O TO le DE RES d who er R GA AND ulate powd zy fiz X rm m LA tor fo nesiu cious, relax, E R doc mag deli nd dyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is a food tes a alm a ur bo vels e ea elp c g yo m l nd t cr tha k to h storin nesiu tion a ics. e n g dri hile r al ma diges robiot est w tim ving e p the b t. op pro ith liv le is secre 7 im w sty ty $1 and larity y life beau .com h u flife reg healt eno A d r ga 34 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
R+CO RELATIVE PARADISE SPRAY is a multi-purpose spray. Anyone who knows me knows I love things that do many jobs, this spray can be used to freshen hair, as a body spray, linen spray, or for anything you want to turn into your own scent paradise. Notes of Sicilian lemon, tangerine, eucalyptus, green tea, tree moss, and amber. randco.com $20
ORIBE NAIL LACQUERS are my new nail obsessions. They are 8-free which is at the top of my list of importance, along with performance. The colors are opaque, long wearing and have high shine. oribe.com $32
SENNA LASH DETAIL MASCARA coats and separates every freaking last lash. With its tiny brush you can coat hard to get inner corner lashes, define bottom lashes to perfection and get right to the root of top lashes. This tiny little brush beautifully paints each lash with color while separating and defining. Magic, I tell you, magic! sennacosmetics.com $20
OUAI ROSE HAIR AND BODY OIL is like spring in a bottle. Again, multipurpose products are my jam, this oil will get you glowing and hydrated from head to toe. Absinthium, shea and rosehip oils hydrate and a blend of rose, bergamot, lychee, and white musk creates the intoxicating fragrance. Free of silicones and parabens. theouai.com $32
MUSTAEV MOOD THERAPY MASKS are not only powerful skin treatments but also so much fun. The sheet masks are made of breathable film and come in Joy, Anger, Sadness, and Pleasure fragrances to coordinate with your mood. Add a glass of Champagne and it’s the perfect night in. mustaevusa.com 4 pack $16
IT COSMETICS BYE BYE UNDER EYE CORRECTOR is straight out of my professional makeup kit. The color correcting concealer instantly brightens and depuffs your eye area while neutralizing and concealing the appearance of dark circles. They should call it sleep in a jar, that’s my opinion at least. itcosmetics.com $29
CERAMIRACLE FIRST LIGHT THE SERUM will make your skin feel like silk. Just a few drops instantly revitalizes skin, refreshes, and smoothes your complexion. Use it on its own or with a moisturizer for firmer, radiant, toned, and younger looking skin. ceramiracle.com $89
IGK LOW KEY CLEANSING WALNUT SCALP SCRUB is the product I never knew I needed. This once a week cooling scrub soothes, purifies, nourishes, and clarifies overworked scalps. The peppermint oil will awaken your senses while leaving you with soft, shiny and refreshed hair. igkhair.com $36 @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 35
36 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 37
38 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 39
New Year, NEW YOU
YS 5 WA AMP EV TO R LIFE YOUR 018 IN 2
Written by Alessa Valenzuela
As I sip on my morning brew of Handlebar Coffee, the cool winter streets of our sleepy little city by the sea are filled with busy bodies with arms full of shopping bags and hands full of hot beverages. 2018 is rapidly approaching, and while I’ve never been one for resolutions, lists I can vibe with. Here are five easy things you can do to revamp your life in the New Year.
Exercising daily will help boost your mood, raise energy levels, reduce the risk of diseases, and increase self-confidence. Let your body guide you towards a fitness routine that will work for you. Most gyms and studios have introductory passes for first timers that give you a chance to try out the program before you make a financial commitment. If group fitness isn’t your thing, there are also great online platforms that provide affordable at home classes. If independent exercise is more your speed try Pilates Anytime (pilatesanytime.com, @pilatesanytimeus).
Get to know your body
We all know that regular exercise has its benefits, but it doesn’t make it any easier to get back 40 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
into the swing of things if you’ve taken a break. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a go at it, start small. Martial artist, Randee Brookins (innerwarriorproject.com, @innerwarriorproject) recommends “Find a peaceful and comfortable place along with your cup of tea or coffee, and slowly start to awaken your senses and your being into the world. Sit in silence, with your eyes closed, and notice things you wouldn’t normally notice.” Taking just five extra minutes at the start or end of your day to re-connect with your physical self, you will come to understand what your body truly needs.
Reclaim your domain All year long we accumulate things we don’t need, stresses we shouldn’t carry, and
have moments we’re not proud of. A new year is the perfect time to reconnect with our physical self and our rework our surrounding spaces.
Create a routine
Typically, I’m a “throw the chips in the air and let them fall where they may” kind of girl, so the idea of scheduling naturally stresses me out. As it turns out, creating a routine not only can reduce stress but can also promote productivity. When developing a routine, you must designate specific amounts of time to specific tasks which means you are less likely to put those things off for another time. Another added benefit, better sleep! With structure comes regularity, allowing the
body to know what to expect, and when to expect it. The National Sleep Foundation has found that waking up and going to bed at the same time daily will help your body regulate its own internal clock. With this internal schedule in place, you will find it easier to fall asleep at night and feel less groggy in the morning (um, yes please).
Remake your space
If your furniture has been in the same place since you’ve moved in, it’s time to shake things up. As you start to move pieces around, you will begin to evaluate which things are important to you, and what you can do without. Redesigning your space also gives you an opportunity to fine tune or rework your personal style.
Emily Finch, interior designer (emilyfinch.com, @emily_finch), says “I love color as much as the next girl, but sometimes the best way to show that color off is with a crisp, white backdrop. Especially if the style of the space is eclectic, white walls can help keep everything feeling fresh and cohesive.” Vintage shops are a great place to source one-of-a-kind art, rare textiles and unique collectables. The Blue Door (thebluedoorsb.com, @thebluedoorsb) is a great local shop that has a seemingly endless collection of unique furniture and diverse home goods. This year, take the time to discover what inspires you!
Ready, Set, GLOW
An effective and efficient HydraFacial at Taylor Paige Aesthetics
Written by Savannah Daniels The charisma of Taylor Paige is one of its own. Her magical touch, incredible knowledge of skin wellbeing and the way she performs a medical-grade facial is almost as if she’s imparting her glow to her clients. Taylor is a beautician who specializes solely on the skin. “The skin is truly my passion. And once I realized how many things you can do with it, I really wanted to focus on it,” she says as we walk into a cozy room where I am able to unwind and briefly forget the day. I get comfortable on the facial bed, and she begins the process a with smooth face wash. She massages it into my pores, removing impurities and relaxing me before the procedure. She then uses a small suction cup-like tool to drain my facial lymphatic system and draw toxins to the surface of my skin. The HydraFacial is a four to six step facial machine, which Taylor first brought to Santa Barbara last year. Step one is the exfoliator, which does just as it sounds, manually removes dead skin from your face and helps unclog the pores to allow them to breath. Step two is the acid peel, which includes all of the benefits of a chemical peel mask except it’s ten times faster, as you don’t have to wait for it to dry and peel it off. This also removes dead particles and promotes an even complexion. Next, the extraction removes any left over unwanted particles from my skin, and my face is then ready to be infused with a
nurturing serum in step four. The HydraFacial procedure takes only about twenty relaxing minutes. So it’s fairly quick and easy to do even on the busiest days. Next, an LED mask is placed over my face to further stimulate my skin. Just like photosynthesis, the light works with skin cells to help them fortify and grow. The warmth deepens my state of relaxation and I close my eyes and daydream for ten minutes. After, my face is lathered in a light sun block and I’m ready to continue my day. The lightness of my skin is both astonishing and liberating. I can feel the huge difference between coming in before the treatment and the finished results. And after Taylor removes the tube of extracted toxins from the HydraFacial machine, I can SEE the difference. Thanks to Taylor I now realize how many toxins our skin holds and how important it is to remove them. I walk out with healthy toxin-free skin, glowing more than I ever thought possible. taylorpaigeaesthetics.com
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 41
42 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
INDIGO THERAPY at the Hotel Californian Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Christina Burch “MS. BURCH, I WANT YOU TO TAKE THREE DEEP BREATHS.” With my eyes closed and head nestled into the opening of the massage table headrest, I try to calm my breathing and slow my heart rate. As if by design, and very much so, my breaths are met with the sweet, cleansing smell of lavender, herbs and fresh botanicals. So begins my magical Moroccan massage at Spa Majorelle in Hotel Californian. I’m set to receive a Vitality signature experience, which incorporates a therapeutic massage, an herbal elixir for detoxifying benefits and a signature aroma design session, where I will create my custom essential oil blend. This Vitality spa experience is making an appearance at the perfect time in my life. I’m newly engaged—ecstatic and completely on cloud nine—but also drained as I carry around a long laundry list of to-dos.
Moments earlier, upon my arrival, I walked into the grand foyer of the relaxation room and was met by a breathtaking dome and clean geometric patterns of deep indigo blue and crisp white, reminiscent of a Mediterranean palace. It was quite the ethereal introduction. I was greeted by my massage therapist Cristiana, a sweet woman hailing from Italy. Christiana’s beautiful accent and kind eyes already put me at ease and reminded me that this hour and a half would leave no room for the worries and stresses that follow throughout the day. Having changed into my robe and slippers, I joined Cristiana over at the aroma bar. “You be the alchemist,” she said with a quiet smile, already believing more in my intuition than I did. She pulled out an iPad and reminded me to take this opportunity to attune myself with my body and mind. I chose the path labeled “Focus Inward,”—after @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 43
all, my wise sage did encourage me to do so. And amongst the planning and appointments of engaged life, I’m sure a little self care is in order. I continued to navigate the selection process by making gut-decisions on the apothecary app, as I labeled it in my head, narrowing down my blend to “Balance and Wellbeing.” It featured cedar, lavender, ylangylang, and vetiver; a recipe designed to honor the body and its natural pace. Empowered by the holistic decision-making process and being quite pleased with my results, a deep calm washed over me. The oils are pure—potent and all organic—straight from the farms around the world that produced them. I chose two types of crystals to dance within the roller ball: rose quartz and aventurine. She told me they are both stones of the heart, promoting an atmosphere of love and letting things be. Knowing that I could always use more of both, I gladly accepted my gift. Now, back to the massage that brought me to this blissful state. The Ocean Dew massage oil spreads over me, and Cristiana once again reminds me to soak up the aromatherapy through deep breathing as she begins massaging my back. My deep tissue massage is perfect. With a variety of motions that ebb and flow like the crashing and receding of waves, I am put at ease. Her calculated movements address my tension—too many hours writing at my computer, and I have the shoulders and neck to prove it. She continues this organic, yet methodical therapy, and my body is more relaxed than I thought possible. I take a mental note that this should be my new normal: relaxed, trusting and grateful for all the ways that my body has allowed me to live a full life. My borderline existential moment is then wrapped in a hot compress, the heat seeming to lock in the benefits of the botanical oils. She leaves me with a foot massage using lotion with a comforting, homey scent, something I can only describe as dark vanilla spice.
44 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
She gently taps my shoulder to lift me from my vanilla-spiced coma and encourages me to take my time as I return to the relaxation room. I slide on my luxuriously soft slippers to reunite with the indigo atrium that made such an impression on me. Cristiana invites me over to the bar where an assortment of tea blends and honeys are displayed as if in a bazaar or marketplace of tinctures. The glass jars and packaging are dainty but Cristiana assures me that they pack a powerful punch. “This one here is my absolute favorite honey,” she says with a suddenly serious face. “It is the best, ever.” She hands me a spoonful, and I savor the world-class wildflower honey, known to restore strength and vitality. The smoky honey is thinner than I expected and filled with intricate notes of Siberian ginseng, cinnamon, clove, and cardamom. I ask Cristiana for a peek at the bottle, and I’m pleased to find it’s “stress resistance fortified.” Truly a restorative elixir to bring about radiance and vitality, just as promised. I thank Cristiana several times for my regenerative massage and tailored aroma-concocting experience, and savor my last few moments in Santa Barbara’s own Moroccan sanctuary. Majorelle, as I learn from one of the spa attendants, refers to the distinct ultramarine blue found in the traditional doorways of Marrakech. Crafted to evoke a sense of tranquility, it’s become the iconic indigo pigment of Moroccan artistry, luxury and health—and for me, my new favorite hue.
Spa Majorelle, Hotel Californian 36 State Street, Santa Barbara thehotelcalifornian.com/santa_barbara_spa 805-882-0100
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 45
SB LIFE & STYLE health
INTUITION A Spiritual Healing Session with Psychic Aiden Chase
Written by Alessa Valenzuela
As the road winds lazily through Montecito, I roll down my windows, inhaling and exhaling deeply, trying to calm my nerves. I’m on my way to meet psychic Aiden Chase for my first ever spiritual healing session.
Walking into Aiden’s office, an immediate feeling of calm comes over me. Perhaps it is the subtle aroma of sage and rose, or the presence of crystals peppered throughout the room, but whatever it is, my presession jitters are no more.
“IN 100 FEET THE DESTINATION IS ON YOUR LEFT”
Part one of my session is an ‘intuitive reading.’ He explains how experiences that have occurred during past lifespans of our soul are embedded deep within our present being and he utilizes his clairvoyant abilities to receive the legacy of our ‘life force.’ By tapping into our energetic frequencies, Aiden can come to understand our spiritual past and start to identify the internal blockages that inhibit the connection to our intuitive self. By cleansing, rebalancing and recalibrating our energy field, he can help open these internally blocked pathways so that our energy can flow freely, allowing for the connection between our mind, body and soul. He believes that by listening to our inner voice and re-connecting to our intuition we will discover our spirit’s true purpose. Once we understand this truth we can begin to pursue our greatest wishes and dreams.
Bloomed florals line the meandering path that leads me to a darling country style craftsman tucked amongst a lush landscape with tall oak trees. I notice a bustling chicken coop of joyful hens softly clucking away in the distance as a warm Santa Ana breeze ushers me up to the door. Aiden, a third-generation healer, relies on psychic capabilities to conduct spiritual healing sessions for his clients, held at his home office, on location or via Skype. His mission is to provide insight about the unseen internal and external energies at play in our lives that affect our natural state of being. Gifted with an extrasensory ability to receive information from past souls, Aiden’s intuitive nature is like a finely tuned violin. 46 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Aiden’s healing work is focused on clearing unwanted negative energies, illuminating the path for our soul’s journey towards achieving our greatest potential. Most clients who come to him seeking spiritual healing are unaware that true healing comes from within. Ultimately, he says, the choices we make will dictate how our life story unfolds. “SAY MY NAME, SAY MY NAME” At the start of my session, Aiden asks that I say my name out loud three times to call forward any spiritual energies or messages from the unseen forces that surround us. It is a commonly held belief that souls which have passed maintain an energetic presence in the world to help guide the living through our shared human experience. These energetic forces are often referred to as ‘angels.’
female lineage.” He’s getting a strong feminine and warrior like fighter presence from my reading. My stomach drops and my eyes begin to well up. En route to this session, I was reflecting on my life, realizing a ‘fighter’ like force has been brewing inside me, not knowing what that ‘fight’ was for. How could he have known? Later in the session I tell Aiden of my earlier reflections, reeling from the coincidence. “The fight has already been won, there is no fight for you to champion, you need to absolve yourself of that quest, success has already been achieved. Move past the fight, your energy spent there will be wasted,” he says.
Spiritual Healers believe that a universal power is responsible for the creation of our natural world, this ‘spiritual energy’ made of light and love is reflected as the life force shared among all living things. According to Aiden, our souls gravitate towards other souls that we have been involved with previously. For example, my mother and I have a parent child relationship in this life, but perhaps our souls crossed paths in the past as sisters. The experiences we’ve had from that cycle may leave residual energy that can affect our current relationship. By identifying these ‘unfinished’ energetic forces and expelling them from the body, we can have a clean slate for our present-day relationships to flourish. Aiden receives messages by sight and sound from ‘angelic forces of light’ which he describes as pure souls untainted by the abstraction of personality. These ‘angels’ are not bound by the earthly limitations of time or ego so these messages don’t come with a name tag. Hence the intended recipient of a message may not be made immediately clear. It just so happens, this morning he received a message intended for me. Unexpected, but welcomed news, my heart begins to race. An offering of yellow wildflowers from my maternal grandmother as a token of friendship, reminding me that we’re not alone even when we feel most lonely. It is expressed that I should share this with my immediate family as well. Aiden then asks me a question that has been rolling around my mind for over a year. “SO TELL ME, WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?” My first instinct is to say “I don’t know” but after all he has shared about intuition, I take a beat and repeat the question to myself. “What do you want?” I muster up the courage to be honest with myself and this stranger. Like most people, I want to pursue a passion with purpose. I want to choose a direction and forge a path towards something that I believe in wholeheartedly. My trouble is that I’m not certain which direction to go, or which path to take. Something I say grabs him, and he seems to be off somewhere in the distance. “You come from a long line of fighters, and predominately
“CLOSE YOUR EYES, AND BREATHE DEEPLY.” Following my intuitive reading, we move onto the ‘channeled energy healing’ portion of the session. I lie on my back, relaxed but engaged. A weighted eye pillow blocks out the sun filled room, eliminating all distractions. A cathartic combination of music and spritzed floral aromas engulf my senses. I feel tingling in my left leg and left jaw. As I note these sensations, Aiden confirms energy blockages in both areas. Breathing deeply and in unison, he removes these blockages as they ‘pop off ’ of my being. At this moment, I can feel a profuse amount of wetness around my eyes as my breath becomes shaky. Suddenly a feeling of calm moves through me followed by a surge of energy. As the session comes to an end, in a way I do feel healed. The burden of fear and indecisiveness that has weighed heavily on my life has been lifted, replaced with a renewed sense of confidence and empowerment. Perhaps in the end, it is as Aiden says, that all healing comes from within ourselves, that understanding can lead to action. Our actions are what change our lives. While ultimately our journey is up to us, it sure is nice to have a second opinion, especially one who offers gifts of insight, pleasant aromas and messages from the great unknown.
aidenchase.com @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 47
SB LIFE & STYLE valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day
OOH LA LA Photographed by Jacqueline Pilar
48 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Bright Inc Floral Arrangement For Love and Lemons Bra, Whiskey & Leather Andersenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Danish Bakery Heart Cake Bernardaud Plate, Coast 2 Coast Collection
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 49
Borbonese Handbag, Allora by Laura | Jo Malone London Red Roses Cologne, jomalone.com | Bernardaud Plate, Teacup & Saucer, Coast 2 Coast Collection | Kusmi Sweet Love Tea, kusmitea.com | Tom Ford Lipstick in First Time, Cos Bar | Tom Ford Eyeshadow in Golden Mink, Cos Bar | Tom Ford Blush in Wicked, Cos Bar | Top Ford Soleil Contouring Compact, Cos Bar | LAFCO Black Pomegranate Candle, LAFCO.com | Earrings, Allora by Laura
50 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
For Love and Lemons Bra, Whiskey & Leather | 2015 Elouan Rosé, elouanwines.com | Kai Linz Rose Gold & Diamond Love Necklace, Allora by Laura | Ali Grace Rose Gold & Diamond Rings, Allora by Laura | Diptyque Rose Delight Candle, diptyqueparis.com | Jane Iredale GreatShape Contour Kit in Cool, janeiredale.com | Pearl Necklace, Coast 2 Coast Collection | Renaud’s Patisserie Raspberry & Vanilla Macarons | Vietri Plate, Coast 2 Coast Collection
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 51
Andersenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Danish Bakery Petit Fours | La Perla Lingerie, Antoinette | Vietri Cake Stand & Heart Dish, Letter Perfect
52 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Andersenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Danish Bakery Chocolate Cake | La Perla Lingerie, Antoinette | Vietri Plate & Wine Glass, Coast 2 Cost Collection | Christofle Forks, Coast 2 Coast Collection | Tom Ford Lipstick in Dangerous Beauty, Cos Bar | Vanessa Mooney Bracelet, Whiskey & Leather | Gold & Diamond Ring, Antoinette | LVX Nail Polish in Sanguine, shoplvx.com | Pearl Necklace & Bracelet, Antoinette | Chandelier Earrings, Coast 2 Coast Collection | Clive Christian No. 1 Perfume, Cos Bar | Recchiuti Black Box & Red Wine Pairing Collection Chocolates, recchiuti.com @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 53
SB LIFE & STYLE fashion
JUMP START Photographed by Silas Fallstich Model Stav Ben Zur with L.A. Models Hair & Makeup by Leah Rose Washuta Nail Color LVX in Millenial
54 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Lorna Jane Sports Bra Joah Brown Top, Drishti Maaji Leggings, Drishti APL Shoes @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 55
Alo Sports Bra & Leggings, Drishti Master & Dynamic Headphones APL Shoes 56 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Lorna Jane Sports Bra Alo Leggings, Drishti APL Bomber Jacket & Shoes @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 57
Nux Top, Drishti Beyond Yoga Leggings, Drishti APL Shoes 58 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Lorna Jane Sports Bra Hardtail Pants, Drishti APL Shoes
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 59
APL Sports Bra, Leggings & Shoes Lexie LaRae Earrings
60 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Varley Top & Leggings @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 61
BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
Photographed by Jacqueline Pilar Model Alessa Valenzuela Styled by Rachel Teixeira Hair & Makeup by Heather Roach Manicure by Aqua Skin & Nail Bar using LVX in Truffle Location by Engel & Völkers Santa Barbara
62 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Nili Lotan Faux Fur Jacket, Allora by Laura Kai Linz Rings, Allora by Laura @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 63
Hache Coat, Allora by Laura Sally LaPointe Sweater, Allora by Laura Hache Trousers, Allora by Laura Robert Clergerie Booties, Allora by Laura
64 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Soia & Kyo Coat, Whiskey & Leather Sally LaPointe Turtleneck Dress, Allora by Laura House of Lafayette Gloves, Allora by Laura Freelance Heels, Allora by Laura @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 65
Sally LaPointe Sweater, Allora by Laura Gimos Shearling Vest, Allora by Laura Blanka THE LABEL Pants, Blanka
66 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Sally LaPointe Sweater, Allora by Laura Hudson Velour jeans, Whiskey & Leather Robert Clergerie Boots, Allora by Laura
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 67
D. Exterior Sweater, Allora by Laura Callahan Jacket, Jake & Jones Blanka THE LABEL Trousers, Blanka Free People Slides, Blanka
68 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 69
Brochu Walker Sweater, Jake & Jones Levi Jeans, Jake & Jones Cabbages & Kings Blanket, Jake & Jones
70 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Nili Lotan Blouse, Allora by Laura Lorena Antoniazzi Cardigan, Allora by Laura @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 71
SB LIFE & STYLE travel
A not so
Written by Alexandra Sharova
donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know about you, but I have a thirst for new adventures, an uncontrollable sense of wanderlust, if you will. Of course, responsibilities and a job prevent me from giving into impulsive one-way flights to Paris or Bali, but I found the next best, and quite doable, thing: a weekender. So, to test the waters of my newfound answer to vacation on a time-budget, I headed to the desert, to La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs. As a winter breeze rolls in on our paradise, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the perfect time to chase the golden rays to their permanent home in Palm Springs. Although its reputation is that of a golfing destination or the last stop before a wedding, the city has so much more to offer. Along with my boyfriend, I took it upon myself to prove just how much you can get out of a weekend at the renowned resort.
72 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
After battling bumper-to-bumper traffic, we finally drive through the lit up, palm tree-lined entrance like many guests, and celebrities, before us since its opening in 1926. Full disclosure: I was under the impression we were heading to a top-tier hotel of the La Quinta Inn chain… Needless to say, entering the luxury car-filled lot was a more-than-pleasant surprise. Upon check-in we learn this is in fact a Waldorf Astoria Resort, which pretty much says it all, and explains the gorgeous, Spanish style property. Due to our traffic-induced tardiness we rush past shimmering fountains and evergreen lawns to the resort’s Mexican restaurant, because I’m a Santa Barbara girl and I know that a good margarita can fix almost any problem.
the faint mountain backdrop as we sip on fruity margaritas bigger than our heads. After three sips, all is right in the world and the relaxing weekend truly begins. It could be that we finished every last drop of our cocktails, the citrusy fresh ceviche and sizzling fajitas we devoured, or the overall ambiance of the resort, but whatever it is, we walk to our room with dreamy anticipation. We enter our hideaway casita to discover a private outdoor hot tub, a king-sized bed and our mini fridge fully stocked with a delicious and nutritious Pressed Juicery cleanse for the weekend. I’ve died and gone to heaven. We jump into the bubbling Jacuzzi and admire the star-filled sky, because what’s more romantic than that?
In traditional Oaxaca style, a vibrant mural dresses up the walls of the Adobe Grill, while an artisan tequila selection does the rest. We choose an outdoor spot near the fire pit, where flames dance against
As the sun peeks through the window of the suite I wake up more well-rested than I have in months. Hand-in-hand, with the other hand gripping a Citrus 2 juice, we walk to Twenty6 for a breakfast buffet
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 73
that has literally everything. I get a made-to-order omelet, crispy hash browns, a side of bacon, a chocolate croissant, and a bowl of seasonal fruit—I’m on vacation so diet rules do not apply. After a few hours of tanning, aka recovering from a food coma that I absolutely do not regret, I head to the spa for a Himalayan Salt Stone Ritual. On my way I take a detour to explore Greta Garbo’s cottage, which is impressively preserved, from her bedroom to her luxurious entertaining space, where she hosted notorious soirees for Hollywood starlets. I never expected to find such rich history and a legendary guest list, including President Eisenhower, Arnold Palmer, Frank Capra, and later, even Britney Spears, at any resort. The spa is tranquil in every way—from the friendly attendants to the thirst-quenching lavender lemonade. As this is my first stone massage I am going in with no expectations. I lay down on a plush
74 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
table and my masseuse works on my kinks and tension with smooth, rosy stones. I’m shocked at the precision and effective pressure they deliver. My thoughts and concerns begin to dissipate, just as the heat from the stones permeates my skin. All the stress I’ve been holding onto melts away, and I’m mildly embarrassed to say I fell asleep. I leave completely carefree, and just slightly disoriented due to the detoxifying qualities of the stones. This has to be the best massage of my life. To reboot before heading back to the pool (the resort has 41 pools!) I sip on a gingery beet juice on one of the shaded lounge chairs and take in the calming beauty of the Santa Rosa Mountains. After swimming under a sunset to remember, we head off to Morgan’s, which was part of the original La Quinta that opened in 1927. Clearly, cocktails are in order to celebrate a day well spent. We go with the White Linen, a frothy gin concoction with elderflower liqueur and
lychee-like syrup. My date says it’s the best drink he’s ever had, and that is quite an honor. For a starter we opt for the Confit Quail Salad from the “seasonal inspiration menu.” The quail is a delicate alternative to chicken, and along with fig slices it elevates the starter that we finish every last bit of, leaving behind a clean plate. Next, comes the entrée: the Montana Pork Chop. Poached rhubarb and beer vinegar create irresistible tang while crispy pork belly adds texture to the flawless pork chops. I must admit, I am not usually a fan, but this dish left a lasting impression and perhaps changed my perception of pork forever… My favorite time of the meal, dessert, is here. Due to indecision, our knowledgeable waiter brings us two desserts, which I wish happened everywhere. The Lemon Curd is a work of deconstructed genius, taking the classic lemon tart to the next level: lemon and mascarpone dollops are separated by refreshing sorbet, and decorated with shaved white chocolate. It’s irresistible. The “All About Chocolate” Cake hits all the sweet spots the curd missed with black tea ganache, brownie, and chocolate mousse. To say we left satisfied is an understatement. We rise bright and early for a Gentle Yoga class followed by two classic eggs Benedicts and rich cappuccinos with a view. After a quick swim we’re ready for our last La Quinta adventure, tennis. We pass by a bridal party (our fourth sighting of the weekend) en route to one of the 23 courts. An hour of rallying under the beating sun and I am exhausted, but in the best way possible. Not much compares to competition with a stunning mountain backdrop. Although we have to leave, we do so with smiles on our faces, and a golden glow. The weekend was a huge success; filled with activities, delicious meals and quality time together. Whether you’re going on a girls’ trip, planning a wedding party, or just want to get away for a few days, La Quinta Resort & Club has something for everyone, and its years of experience, mean five-star everything.
La Quinta Resort & Club 49499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta laquintaresort.com 760-564-4111
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 75
Waikiki Written by Ottocina Ryan
Magenta orchid petals float down from the sky as huge fluffy clouds turn from peach to hot pink and the sun dips below the ocean. I’m sitting in a poolside cabana at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach, watching the most magical of all sunsets, one like only islands seem to have. As the petals settle on the infinity pool and pool deck, I sip my hibiscus margarita; I couldn’t ask for a better welcome to Hawaii. I used to think of Hawaii as just pretty beaches with huge waves. Yet this trip made me realize that there is so much more to the islands. Oahu is like a magical place and just being here makes you feel somehow healed, refreshed and calm. We are first introduced to the spiritual roots of the island the next morning by Melia Goodenow, the owner of Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals, when she takes my friends and I for a hike in Manoa Valley. The path through the valley is lined by ferns and the densest foliage I’ve ever seen. We cross fallen logs over flowing streams. Many of the trees are fully draped in vines and bright flowers pop out along the muddy trail. Everything is so green and lush and the air smells sweet. It’s an easy hike, ending in a waterfall a few stories high. Melia is in touch with each of us. She picks up on that I’m stressed. I explain to her that I received a stressful email as we departed and she hands me a Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals yellow ginger flower essence labeled Relax. On the way back from the waterfall we stop at a stream crossing with dozens of stacked rocks. Melia chants to honor the Hawaiian spirits and to ask for rain. Almost immediately upon returning to the path, it starts to rain. The hike clears my head and I address many problems that have been weighing on me. Walking back, listening to the rain on the leaves I 76 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
look at my phone, expecting more stressful emails and instead am surprised by a text encouraging me to extend my stay on the islands and see my best friend who I haven’t seen in a year. Hawaii working its magic. After the hike we return to The Ritz-Carlton just in time for my Huki Huki spa treatment, which promotes renewal. My masseuse, Silvia, leads me through the all white spa to the treatment room and gives me a few drops of a Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals flower essence labeled Fresh Start. She kneads all the stress out of my body, and the scalp massage feels as if she is pulling every negative thought out of my head. She then coats me in mud and pastes ti leaves all over my body and lets me rest and renew. After I wash the mud off, we head to Mud Hen Water for dinner… for one of the most innovative meals I’ve had. In case the name wasn’t a dead giveaway, they do things a little differently. The bathroom walls are coated in restaurant menus from around the world and their unique menu features dishes like “Loaded” Baked Bananas, topped with curry butter, chopped egg, peanuts, bacon, coconut, and green onion. Which are actually delicious. And they have a guy that forages ferns from the jungle for one of their dishes. My favorites of the meal are the grilled octopus, the Ramble on Rosemary cocktail (a concoction of prairie gin, lime, egg white, lemongrass, and rosemary) and the Miso Butterscotch Rice Pudding, which is rich with a more burnt than sweet flavor, and the perfect ending to the creative meal. The next day we spend the majority of the day at the Residences, even with all Waikiki has to offer it’s a hard place to leave. Everything from the elevators to the toilets are technically advanced, the atomshere is calming and the staff are exceptionally friendly. Being here makes
SB LIFE & STYLE dining
you realize how good and relaxed you can feel. We leave the property only to track down Banan—a food truck that has soft serve made out of only bananas and acai and served in a papaya “bowl.” As the sun sets we gather for dinner at BLT Market, just off of the lobby. The restaurant floor has actually been posted on @ihavethisthingwithfloors and if there was an @ihavethisthingwithbreadbaskets theirs would be on there too. The popovers are a fun break from the traditional baguette and amazing by any standards. As my entree I order the Bubu Arare Crusted Hawaiian Tuna with Molokai short ribs, roasted maitake mushrooms and parsnip miso puree. And for dessert the POG Parfait in a Chocolate Sphere. The server presents us with a chocolate orb, surrounded by tropical fruit, and proceeds to pour guava caramel sauce over it until it collapses to reveal a cheesecake. Definitely magic. The next morning I order an acai bowl topped with berries from room service and eat it on my balcony before heading upstairs to the fitness studio for a yoga class. The instructor, who happens to also be the Residences’ IT Director, leads us through a class that is a mix between yin and vinyasa flow. As if savasana could get any better, he gives us foot massages as we rest. I leave in a zen yet revitalized state. Come afternoon, we grab a picnic lunch from Dean & DeLuca, which is on the same level as the porte-cochere in the Residences, and head to the beach. Walking through the park, people are doing yoga on the grass among egrets and chirping birds. From spending time in Waikiki, I have come to realize that many wellness trends that have recently surfaced in Southern California are inherent to the Hawaiian culture. And there is no better way to reset for the New Year than immersing yourself in a culture where wellness, spirituality and connecting with nature are intrinsic parts of their lifestyle.
ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/hawaii/waikiki @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 77
WELCOME TO PARAÍSO Written by Ottocina Ryan
o this was meant to be an trip where I went to Cabo to a resort with world class wellness offerings and came back in the best shape of my life, with a glowing tan and peaceful mindset, ready to take on the year with half of my resolutions already accomplished. But, you see, at check-in at Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, the friendly attendant mentions there’s a restaurant on property called TnT, for tacos and tequila, and that it is the best place at the resort. That puts and end to my rejuvenation expectations. Those world class wellness offerings are almost completely forgotten for world class tacos and tequila. First things first, I have to check in—as the attendant shakes up a mescal cocktail for me, I survey the unobstructed view of the Sea of Cortez, the bathroom with a freestanding tub and indoor and outdoor showers, and on the coffee table, what will soon be the best caramel corn I’ll ever taste. This vacation is off to a great start. I leave unpacking for later and meet my girlfriends at the poolside TnT. The coaster beneath my TnT Margarita says ‘Tequila, because no great story ever started with a salad’ and that just cements the thought in my mind that the food and drinks (and likely relaxing around the spa) should be the focus of this trip. If you give a girl a margarita she’s going to want tacos to go with it.
78 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
We order the Hongos tacos with king trumpet mushrooms, corn, poblano chilies, braised kale, and epazote, and the Pastor tacos with roasted pork, pineapple, cilantro, and lime. Served on wood boards, they are some of the most flavorful tacos I’ve ever had. Upon cleaning our plates we can’t say no to dessert. I’m soon selecting warm churros from a paper sack and dipping them in cajeta (goat’s milk caramel) until the churros too have disappeared. We linger at the table and chat with the servers, I noticed right away that the service is impeccable. The staff are what you would expect at a luxury hotel yet reminiscent of that friend who always pressures you to go out. They know you want another cerveza and have it for you before you ask. After lunch we read magazines by the pool until the sun goes down. As the bright pink sky fades I make my way to on property restaurant Comal, where I am joined by my friends and Mr. Bongo, my cocktail with tequila, coconut water, mint, Prosecco, and lemon. Chef Yvan Mucharraz stops by the table to offer recommendations. Per his suggestions we order several appetizers, including plantain stuffed with requeson cheese and octopus kastakan, followed by the best roasted chicken I’ve ever had. The tender bird is apparently cooked for a matter of days before being served with butternut squash puree,
spicy mustard and roasted root vegetables. For dessert we indulge in “St Germain” sponge cake layered with acai and mango ice cream and a chicha soda float with popcorn ice cream and blackberries bobbing around. I wake up early and watch the sunrise from my balcony before heading to the gym for our private training session. We are greeted by Sunny, the resort’s personal trainer and solid muscle. Her demeanor reflects her name, and the workout reflects that she spent 28 years in law enforcement and the past 11 on the SWAT team in Texas. It is quick and intense and there are burpees. A lot of them. But Sunny makes it bearable and almost fun. And now that we feel like we are instantly in the best shape of our lives, we walk our sweaty selves back to Comal. Our marble table is soon filled with rose gold flatware and cinnamon iced coffees. I order the Egg Motuleños—handmade tortillas, beans and eggs drenched in salsa, and topped with plantains. We also taste a few things from “La Cremerie,” the breakfast buffet. Damiana honey, fuchsia prickly pear yogurt, pastries with vanilla butter, guava empanadas…the options are as creative as they are beautiful and abundant. After breakfast we make ourselves at home in a cabana by one of the three expansive infinity pools (one for adults, one for families, one for children). Amidst enjoying the palm tree filled view and frozen fruit on sticks, we are treated to 20 minute foot massages, you know, to prepare us for our massages this afternoon. Thinking about it, the entire property feels like a spa, very relaxed and serene—from the
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 79
light color pallet to the calming music, to the minimalistic decor. After a few hours of lying around, we make our way to the beach, one of the few swimmable beaches in Cabo. We pick up snorkels and paddle boards from the H2O Cave, which offers complementary water sports equipment to guests, and head out into the ocean, which is the same temperature as the pool and filled with huge bright yellow and blue fish that swim right up to us. Then it’s spa time. The spa has to be the second best place at the resort. With living walls and shallow pools with mosaics on the bottom, it feels as natural as it does luxurious. Just from being at Chileno Bay Resort I have no stress to work out and I’m already relaxed, so I fully enjoy the massage for what it is. For once in my life my thoughts drift to what I’ll wear to dinner as opposed to work. Come time for dinner, we are lead to a set up that looks straight out of The Bachelor: a candlelit table (for five, but still) on the sand surrounded by tiki torches with a couch and bonfire off to the side.
The full moon creates a glittering path on the water as we indulge in a platter of grilled vegetables, rib eye and seafood—yellowfin tuna, parrot fish, octopus, and shrimp. The highlight is the grilled squash, with chimichurri sauce and a hint of garlic. As I take my last bites of traditional dessert Pan de Muerto, I text the personal concierge to draw me a bath for when I return to the room. Convenience at its finest. Having gotten our fix of modern and fun, we hop over to Esperanza, An Auberge Resort, just 15 minutes down the coast, for a more traditional, romantic setting (as if our candlelit beach dinner can be topped). My open floor plan room guarantees that you can see the view at all times, and I never knew I couldn’t live without a bathroom where you can climb out of a window from your bathtub and into a private jacuzzi on your balcony overlooking two infinity pools and the ocean. Trust me, you want that too. Saving the infinity pools for later, we head straight to the cactus garden for a cooking class with Chef Guillermo Gomez. First he teaches us how to make guacamole (the right way, I’ve been doing it wrong, hint: avocados go in the molcajete after all of the other ingredients). Then we leave the rest to the chef, he explains to us the steps (citrus sea salt on everything is key) as we watch while eating the guacamole we just made. Guillermo soon serves us yellowtail sashimi drizzled with a habanero infused passion fruit dressing, and seafood risotto. He then joins us for hibiscus and plum sorbet doused in rosemary sauce and hibiscus marinated berries. Then it’s time to go to the spa again. I’m telling you, life at Esperanza is really hard. The spa is like a lush grotto where water cascades down sunlit rock walls into pools of various temperatures. My masseuse leads me from the relaxation area down a passageway lined with palm
80 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
trees. As she rinses my feet in a colorful Mexican bowl I tell her we’ve had a couple tough workouts and she proceeds to press every bit of tightness out of my body. She even stretches out my arms and legs, like knees to chest and arms behind my back, in the most relaxing an restorative way possible. When we reconvene in the relaxation area, we all agree that it was the best massage we’d ever had. We start the evening with a tequila tasting—a flight of six different tequilas and mescals, accompanied by everything I ever wanted to know about tequila and more. Then we move to a table on the cliffside terraced restaurant for dinner. Our laughs and conversation almost drowning out the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks several yards below. We start with chocolata clams, octopus and tamarind ceviche, and lobster and watermelon aguachile. Then Guillermo arrives table side to plate Yellowtail Sashimi with mole vinaigrette, crispy garlic, lime, and cactus citron, and our entree: Salt Crusted Totoaba (a fish only available in Cabo), embellished with organic tomato sauce, sweet corn, local Brussels sprouts, and ginger. The dishes are just as fresh and delicious as the setting is heavenly. When our plates and glasses are empty I end the memorable evening relaxing in my balcony hot tub before dozing off in the canopied bed. In the morning we enjoy our final meal of the trip in a cabana on the beach. Past the edge of the table all I can see is ocean and blue sky. Mimosas give way to artistically plated platters of figs, kiwis, plums,
and kumquats, followed by banana bread, breakfast tamales, breakfast tacos, and frittatas, served family style. And then finally it’s pool time. I climb into the hammock next to the upper infinity pool and swing back and forth, watching the waves crash and reflecting on the vacation. I mentally update my New Year’s resolutions to include more tacos and relaxing.
esperanza.aubergeresorts.com | chilenobay.aubergeresorts.com
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 81
I’m the biggest fan of favorites. Even when inappropriate, I pick them and I’m tirelessly obvious about it. It’s with awe that I admit that my favorite picked me over two decades before my birth. Alaska wasn’t my dream, it was my dad’s. He was five, his aunt brought him National Geographic highlighting the last and final frontier. He was captivated, hooked, obsessed. Along the way he picked up my mom, my three siblings and I. He was 58 when he saw his dream come to fruition. I was the lucky one, at 20 I caught my first Alaskan red eye, chasing a girl that didn’t want to be chased, and I never looked back. My favorite found me and I’ll forever be indebted, forever be seeking that favorite feeling, that one of a kind experience that only Denali National Park gives me.
TALKEETNA AIR TAXI
My most recent excursion begins much like the first in the semiunnatural act of flight take off. Talkeetna Air Taxi’s de Havilland Beaver is billowing down the runway, wreaking havoc on itself, feeling unnatural. The window a half digested mouse screeching its last echo of life, the relief a gut lifting moment, she’s airborne, all is changed. The engine hums, a gentle purr takes over and we’re surging upwards, banking hard right over Talkeetna, the braided Susitna River cascading across my view. Across the aisle from me is my girlfriend, we are on the South Side Explorer Glacier Landing Tour, suction cupped to our windows, taking no moment for granted. The ever expanding world is wild, untamed, final frontier, evergreen forests as far as the eye can see, and we are on a beeline for Denali. An expansive feeling of solidarity is in the cabin, the dynamic view is suddenly curtained by a veil of clouds. The impermanent blindfold heightens my anticipation. Without warning we break from cover and snow-capped monsters supersede the shroud all around us. Eye catching pinnacles a segue from lowland to the Alaska Mountain Range. Beneath us the Great Gorge of the Ruth Glacier expands, a 4,000 foot thick river of ice, mile high granite monoliths jut from the glacier’s bank. The intermittent clouds invigorating the scene’s drama.
82 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
here the wild things are...
Photographed and Written by Silas Fallstich
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 83
We race up the glacier, banking left and right to see the stretch and reach of this expansive ice sheet, eye catching peaks such as Moose’s Tooth, Mt. Dickey and Broken Top reveal themselves. As we enter the Don Sheldon Amphitheater the expansive feeling returns. Cerulean meltwater pools appear in the thousands, each one an artist’s colorful brush stroke on the amphitheater. Our descent and glacier landing, a simple hard bank left and quick snowy touch down.
the Ruth Glacier, admiring the long linear feeling it projects when angled down. As we reach the terminus of the glacier the landscape returns to its green hue, sunlight thrusts itself across the reach of our view and we land on the Talkeetna Air Strip. talkeetnaair.com
We disembark onto an ice age old landscape. The scene is something from a fable. Enormous blocks scream into the sky, intermittent segments of exposed granite only increasing the ferocious facades of each mountain face. We run around for 30 minutes, making snow angels, hurling snowballs, snapping photos, and reveling in the expansive beauty. Several other planes safely land and disembark. Our door is buttoned up we are strapped back into the Beaver, quickly airborne. The return trip feels much more direct. We wander along
DENALI CROW’S NEST CABINS
84 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
Thanks to the Alaska Railroad our departure from a plane in Talkeetna and arrival on the doorstep of Denali happens in the blink of an eye. Our first accommodation is Denali Crow’s Nest Cabins, which is a needed departure from reality. So far nothing about this experience has been realistic and we want to keep it that way. Located a mile north of the park entrance, we have stepped into a modern Kingdom of Didd, complete with a marshmallow field in place of a
bed. No I don’t encourage eating the sheets, but you will sleep as if you’re an over gorged s’mores addict. The front stoop of our cabin has an overbite that would scare the pants off of any dentist. From it you can see the main attraction: the view. Mt. Healy, the front country of Denali and beneath us Glitter Gulch (as the locals call it) is a cloister of gift shops, restaurants and resort lodging all positioned along George Parks Highway and the Nenana River. You don’t come 3,376 miles north for a 4-star bed, you come for a 4-star view. Emily, our 110 pound front desk attendant, arrives at our room with our backpacks that are her full body weight, twice as wide and almost as tall, she carries them as if they’re stuffed with pillows. She’s a do-itall concierge that checks you in, totes your bags, and tells you where to hike, drink and dine, all with a smile and a best friend demeanor.
With King Cabin, Single Queen Cabin and Double Full Cabin options, each of the Nest’s rooms is a marvel. They sit haphazardly, shifting with the slope, slanting, jutting, holding themselves to the land, doing their utmost to remain upright while their foundation moves latterly. Their aesthetic instability a result of the intermittent permafrost that encompasses much of northern and central Alaska. This is a cabin experience that can’t be replicated. You came to Alaska for the final frontier experience and this is the amuse bouche. denalicrowsnestcabins.com
NORTH FACE LODGE
There is a dinner spread before me that I never thought possible in this setting. Salmon, homemade hummus, toast for PB&J, brie, multiple grain salads, dried peaches, strawberry jam, and hot @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 85
chocolate. A pop up dinner like no other, served along the bank of the turbid East Fork River, 50 miles inside Denali National Park and Preserve. We are several hours into our North Face Lodge stay; our bus driver Ryan has given us a narrative introduction to Denali, its sub-arctic ecology, geology and history. Our eyes have been introduced to an ever changing landscape defined by “Denali” the Crown Jewel of the North but also so reverently dependent on the low lying participles of this land; forests, taiga, rocks, glaciers, multiple species of spruce, and of course wildlife. As we return to the bus I overhear someone say, “This is where the wild things are, where uninhibited wildlife viewing is at its best.” So far we have seen a few arctic ground squirrels, ptarmigan (the state bird that looks like a chicken) and a high soaring bird that everyone excluding me believed to be a golden eagle. Only a few moments pass and I’m getting dry humped by a 70 year old man. He’s making semi-satisfied noises, “Yes yes, to the left, a little to the left, right there right there, don’t move!” No this isn’t what you think it is, this, if you’re lucky, will be a regular occurrence, and don’t worry women are equally as eager. A female grizzly is casually patrolling a hillside 20 feet from our bus window, personal space and our voices have ceased to exist. She’s an older bear, someone points out by the almost white color and brittle look of her claws, yes we are close enough to see these microscopic details. She takes no notice of us, not once even a momentary glance at the bus, she doesn’t look up for anyone, she owns this land. When you have this moment be sure to put the camera down. Feel the presence of the bear, watch her demeanor. She raises her head to the wind, rumbles a few quick steps downhill exuding her speed, power and grace. 86 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
As the bus moves down the park road the atmosphere in the bus has changed. A few moments prior these were strangers now they appear like family. Camera screens are pointed in all directions. The cheer, jeer and joviality only hushed by someone spotting a caribou and an immediate return to spooning. We arrive at North Face Lodge a few hours later. We disembark to the 5-star smiles of Caitlin and Coup, our hosts for the next three days. “Welcome home,” they say and usher us to light refreshments of coffee and cake. After introductions we are taken to our rooms and given the evening. We shower and occasionally peek out the window, this isn’t called North Face Lodge for no reason. It isn’t until we are appropriately attired in bathrobes that Denali reveals herself. One moment we are shouting with glee on the tundra, in white bathrobes, freshly showered. The next we have donned puffy coats, hiking pants and boots, and are filling our faces with dirt heading by bike towards Wonder Lake. I feel like a 5 year old, pedal over pedal, each movement drawing us closer. Denali doesn’t wait for anyone, she operates on her own clock, when Denali is visible you chase her and we are doing just that. The 1.5 mile bike ride to the north end of Wonder Lake is longer and harder than anticipated but as we coast into view everything slows down. Imagine for a moment that there is something you want more than anything else in all the world. It consumes your mind, your eyes and your heart. You speak of something else but you ever so eagerly stroll back to this thing, this obsession. When Denali comes into view, the bike ride, eight hour bus ride, the over 3,000 miles traveled to get to Alaska, none of it exists. There is only this. I’ve been hoping for, thinking of, expecting, relenting over this, and now that it’s here it’s unspeakably better than I ever imagined.
We wake to the smell of fresh coffee. In the cozy lodge several guests arrive in full hiking gear. I’m wearing jeans, wool socks and a hoodie. But first, coffee. In place of a seating chart each guest has a clothespin with their name, denoting their seat for the meal. I’m ecstatic to find my name spelled correctly and a mug of steaming hot joe waiting for me. For breakfast we indulge in 2 inch thick slices of french toast coated in powdered sugar with warm blueberry jam; the berries were foraged from the property. The only thing more invigorating than the meal is Mallory, each morning an employee shares breakfast at your table, she is enthusiastic, full of energy and enriches our entire table.
Alpenglow pinks streak across the north face of the mountain, a still blue Wonder Lake reflecting it all. Wispy white clouds and a bluebird blue sky are poised in a vignette around this white face, tickled in pink. We are speechless, we sit on the side of the road, bicycle wheels still spinning, in awe. We remain for hours not moving, not speaking, just being present in each other’s company with the Big One. The bike ride home, the brushing of teeth and climbing into bed are all highlighter exclamation points!
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 87
We eat every bit happily, breakfast is beyond bueno. Post breakfast we choose the strenuous hike activity, pack a sack lunch and depart. Our all day hike takes us up nearly 1,800 feet in elevation to a ridge line that overlooks the lodge’s property and Kantishna Valley. Our hike leader Jenna, who also owns/manages the lodge, is a naturalist to boot. She is hands on with us, stopping to investigate mushrooms and imploring us to hate the invasive birch as much as she does. This isn’t a job for her, it’s a passion. She grew up here and is raising her children here. This is the ultimate sense of home and she opens her’s to guests every summer. At lunch we spread out on the leeward side of a mountain face. Basking in the sun. After lunch Jenna has us take 20 minutes to ourselves in silence, we find our own space and listen, feel, hear, and smell. The sun is shining and there is a slight haze which allows me to narrow my scope, to scale my focus on things close at hand. The way each flower independently moves in the breeze, the way various plants respond differently to the wind. On the hike down the ridge we investigate several moose antlers, numerous bear digs and a wide variety of flowers. This all day experience is capped off by a dip in Nugget Pond. At dinner we are given light refreshments and another of many king size meals. After dinner each group presents a cap on their experience from the day. Our newfound friends Julie and Lisa present for our group, summarizing the strenuous hike experience complemented by sweet after dinner cookies.
88 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
A little later we wander to the mountain bike locker and bike back to the mountain. We are more active this evening, we take out a canoe and paddle half the length of Wonder Lake. The mountain is showing off, fully visible from base to summit. I’ve been dreaming of this experience since I first came to this park. Canoeing on this lake, with that Big One in the near distance. As we row along the lake I feel an ultimate sense of being content. I need nothing more, my Alaska dreams have been fulfilled once again and everything from this point forward is the ultimate bonus. A sunset that puts the previous evening’s to shame begins to break across the sky. The color and quality of light overwhelming the landscape. From the shore we hear shouts and loud exclamations of joy. We smile, relax our oars, and let the canoe drift. It’s our final night at North Face Lodge. We don’t take out the bikes or canoe. Instead we sit with Coup and several of the guests. We listen, we talk and repeat. In a few short days this lodge has become a part of us, as reminiscent of home as anywhere else. It’s the many hosts that make this possible. They’re eager to share, educate and enjoy. They, like you, are park visitors, stewards of Denali, that make it possible for this magic place to exist. North Face Lodge is a place for learning adventurers, hiking vacation goers, for those who desire to learn about Denali and its ever changing landscape. In the morning we are greeted by a thunderstorm. We are ushered to an early breakfast and a rapid goodbye. Hugs, waves and handshakes are shared under a rain cloud. We wave energetically, hoping the twitch of our wrists will convey the gratitude, good feelings and
promise to reunite that we feel in our hearts. The bus ride out of the park is a sleepy one. The bus driver keeps us alert and on the lookout for wildlife. It isn’t before long that we spot a female moose in a kettle pond 50 yards from the bus. This is the cherry on top of the perfect experience, the ultimate feeling of contentment. We nap part of the way home, then snap our final photos. We hope for one final view of Denali and are at last disappointed by her. At the park entrance, bus driver Ryan aids us in checking our bags at the train depot, shakes our hands and without a word slides over to his next group of eager guests. campdenali.com
The train is 15 minutes late. 15 more minutes to scan the horizon, 15 more minutes to feel the clean air and throb of natural life all around us, 15 more minutes to be in Denali. The pin on my chest tells me I’m on the Gold Star Service southbound from Denali to Anchorage. Crossing the train trestle over two creeks leading in the vast Denali National Park interior, we are silent as the view pans slowly out of sight. It hurts to leave this place, we aren’t the same, this isn’t a feeling you want to go away but you’d rather have it a little bit than not at all. The train travels at the perfect pace. The glass dome ceilings allow us to see everything in all directions from the comfort of our seats. The first highlight is Hurricane Gulch, nearly 300 feet high, I snap an inappropriate number of photos as we cross, hoping that each shutter click will somehow pause this moment. Several of our neighbors tease me, a quiet British couple nod and smile, their eager eyes reveling equally in the view. We share both of our onboard meals with this couple. We exchange names but those are immediately discarded for Denali highlights. We all decide that they had a better showing of wildlife experiences but our quality of sightings outweighed theirs. Their wildlife totals in the twenties. The full service meals are our best opportunity to interface with these foreign visitors who have a nostalgic enthusiasm for travel. Outside of the train a black bear runs along the bank of a nearby river, guests press against the windows wanting, no needing to be just that few inches closer to that wild feeling. We spend equal amounts of time dining, drinking up our two complimentary drinks and enjoying the private outdoor viewing deck. This open air perch is the perfect combination of comfort and accessibility. Somewhere along the way we hit a wall and return to our seats. The narrative tour gains our attention when we realize the girl presenting is an Alaska high school student. She offers all the charm expected from a seasonal Alaska guide with a tinge of local humor. “Per capita Alaska has more custom license plates than any
other state in the union. Juneau is the only state capitol where stealing a car is called “joy riding” and is a misdemeanor because no road leaves the city limits. There are no billboards in the entire state, legislature passed that no signage is allowed so as to not disrupt the natural beauty. Only 20% of Alaska roads are paved, Alaska has less paved road miles than Rhode Island (the smallest state).” Her banter is slow and methodical, it carries us all the way to Anchorage. The very last tidbit she offers is this. “The male to female ratio in Alaska is 10 to 1, but only an Alaskan woman knows that the odds are good but the goods are odd.” alaskarailroad.com
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 89
HO URS I N SA NTA BARBA R A
48 HOURS Written by Madeline Williams 90 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
DAY 1 BREAKFAST
Start your morning off right with a cinnamon bun, savory avocado toast and a fresh fruit smoothie from Goat Tree at Hotel Californian. Fun fact: the restaurant is named after the trees in Morocco that are full of climbing goats. @goattree_sb
Located in Paseo Nuevo shopping center, Evangelina Boutique has just what you’re looking for to start the New Year in style. @evangelinaboutique
Holding onto those New Year’s resolutions may be tough but Santa Barbara Athletic Club’s spin classes and their energetic atmosphere will keep you fit and motivated. @swell_sbac
For a healthy 100% organic pick me up, head to Ah Juice for fresh-pressed juices and a menu full of salads, bowls and wraps made with local ingredients. @ascendinghealthjuice
Make your way up the 154 to Lizard’s Mouth to catch a panoramic view of one of Santa Barbara’s breathtaking winter sunsets as another beautiful day comes to a close.
For a fun dinner check out Smithy, a beautiful new restaurant that opened in early December. Start with the Baby I’m A Star cocktail and share creative small plates such as fried delicata squash with cauliflower, squid ink casarecce in lobster bisque with uni and nori breadcrumbs and apple hand pies, all made with a combination of seasonal local ingredients. Their indoor/outdoor space and hanging plants offer a lively atmosphere and appealing aesthetic. @smithysantabarbara
Escape to the riviera and enjoy a night at Belmond El Encanto. Its charming decor, elegant dining, pampering spa amenities, and incredible view will make you never want to leave. @belmondelencanto
DAY 2 BREAKFAST
Wake up, grab a coffee and enjoy a French breakfast at Renaud’s Patisserie and Bistro. Their organic coffee and to-die-for almond croissant will not disappoint. @renaudspatisserie
Unwind and find your zen in a yoga class at DiviniTree. From “Deeply Restorative” yoga to “Partner Acro Yoga,” DiviniTree offers a variety of classes that can start your day on a positive note. @divinitree
For a healthy treat, head to Juice Ranch for organic, locally sourced pressed juices served in environmentally friendly glass bottles. @juiceranch
Stop by Oat Bakery and take home a delicious loaf of nutrient-rich bread in flavors such as sage garlic and roasted sesame nori and which are fresh baked each morning. Full of digestionfriendly, immunity boosting, local ingredients, their Scandinavian bread is honestly natural. @oat_bakery
If you’re up for an adventure, pack your juice and bread and head to the Gaviota Hot Springs to enjoy the waterfalls, winding trails and natural hot tubs. The area has so many unique hikes but the hot springs are a must-see.
Grab a cocktail and make a toast to the New Year at Outpost Restaurant at Kimpton Goodland during happy hour from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Located in Goleta, Outpost offers a variety of aesthetically pleasing cocktails that just might call for an Instagram photo. @outpostsb
End your day with a fresh seafood right across from the beach at Bluewater Grill. @bluewatergrill_
Great wine, like great polo requires passion, dedication, commitment, patience, endurance, brilliance and stewardship.
Tasting Room Open Daily 12 - 6pm |30 El Paseo | Santa Barbara, CA |805-232-3549 Private Vineyard Tours and Tastings by Appointment www.happycanyonvineyard.com
Purveyors of the finest real estate worldwide.
1323 State Street | 805.342.0227 | santabarbara.evusa.com | @evsantabarbara | calBRE 02047392 ©2018 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Engel & Völkers and its independent License Partners are Equal Opportunity Employers and fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act.